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Jason Collins should be viewed as just another hard-working NBA player

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SALT LAKE CITY — It was a landmark 10 minutes, 37 seconds for Jason Collins, the NBA, and acceptance Sunday night at Staples Center.

Collins collected 2 rebounds, 1 steal, and, of course, 5 personal fouls in his return to the NBA and first game as an openly gay player hours after signing with the Brooklyn Nets, who beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 108-102.

The former Celtic was showered with attention and adulation before the game, and addressed the media in a packed room afterward, all to discuss something he has done before, play in the NBA as a gay man. The only difference this time is Collins went public with his sexuality last May in a magazine article. He had been unsigned for the first 3½ months of this season.

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